One of the major potential benefits of smart meters is their ability to give consumers access to detailed data on their electricity usage via an in-home display or internet portals. In-home displays are not yet widely available but should become available with a variety of options in a range of prices in the future.
I Care About The Environment
Pick up a newspaper, turn on the TV, search online. Everywhere you look, today, people are talking about changes to our climate and ways we can help protect the environment. Smart grid and smart meter technologies are at the forefront of those efforts. Smart grid and smart meters will help protect the environment by allowing each of us to better control our energy use and enabling the integration of clean, renewable generation sources where and when it’s needed.
Learn more about how the Smart Grid will help reduce our energy needs, and how Smart Meters can give you more control over your climate footprint.
- Can cut air pollution from the electric utility sector as much as 30% by 2030
- Ensures that renewable power sources like wind farms, solar plants, and hydro stations can be integrated
- Yearly energy savings could equal 70 million road trips around the world or driving an electric car 1.7 trillion miles
A 5% increase in grid efficiency generates energy savings equivalent to eliminating emissions from approximately 20% of all the cars (53 million cars) in the US
- What are the benefits of the smart grid?
- Investing in Grid Modernization: The Business Case for Empowering
- Will meter readers still need to visit my property?
- It's Your Smart Grid
- SDG&E Smart Grid Overview
- What Consumers Need to Know About the Smart Grid and Smart Meters
- Consumer Benefits Fact Sheet
Yes, a smart grid is a greener grid. Smart meters and intelligent grid can significantly benefit the environment by reducing consumption of fossil fuel resources, thereby reducing emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) and other air pollutants. Environmental benefits can be achieved in three ways:
- Reducing electricity consumption and increasing transmission and distribution efficiency
Studies suggest that given the ability to monitor their energy use more frequently in greater detail, many consumers may begin turning off unneeded appliances, change to more efficient lighting, adjust thermostats and make other energy-saving changes. If consumers conserve energy, less power may need to be produced. Reduced emissions from potentially decreased power generation could translate into better air quality.
- Reducing utility’s vehicular needs
Smart meters will also reduce the consumption of resources and associated emission of greenhouse gases and other pollutants associated with performing basic utility services such as connections, disconnections, and meter readings, which can be conducted remotely for consumers with smart meters without sending out a truck. As of October 2010 for example, CenterPoint Energy has avoided over 300,000 "truck rolls" by completing service orders electronically.
- Promoting distributed and renewable energy production and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
Finally, smart grid will create a platform that will promote the development and deployment of technologies for increasing distributed generation (DG) and energy storage capacity, such as wind and solar generation, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Smart meters measure surplus electricity generated as well as electricity delivered, eliminating the need for installation of expensive specialized DG metering. Distributed generation can help reduce the need for new fossil-fuel-generated capacity and therefore benefit the environment. The smart grid will also include technologies that facilitate the use of PHEVs, thereby reducing the consumer’s reliance on gasoline and diesel-fueled vehicles.
The smart grid empowers customers by creating the foundation necessary for a number of new technology-driven energy alternatives, emission reductions, efficiency improvements, a shift to a lower emitting fuel for transportation, and encourages more energy efficiency by providing real-time energy usage data to customers. Research shows that when customers know how much energy they’re using, they will reduce their use by 5 to 10 percent. Additionally, the smart grid promotes integration of the vast amount of renewable energy that is currently being mandated and that is already in the pipeline for development.
- A smart grid senses problems and reroutes power automatically. This prevents some outages and reduces the length of those that do occur.
- A smart grid helps meet growing demand for electricity while limiting the need to invest in new power plants.
- A smart grid delivers the power “quality” necessary to run our increasingly digital homes – power with fewer sags, spikes, and interruptions.
- Smart grid reduces greenhouse gas emissions by making it easier to connect renewable energy sources to the electricity grid.
- Smart grid and smart meters help consumers save money by providing near real time energy usage information and the ability to manage electricity use.
- Smart grid and smart meters make it easier for utilities to offer new kinds of rate plans to help customers manage energy usage and cost -- for example, by shifting some types of usage to times of day when electricity costs less.
- Smart meters eliminate the need for meter reading – instead, usage information is transmitted directly to the utility for timely, accurate billing. There is never a need to send an estimated bill to the customer.